Bad Wolves have had a bit of change recently with Daniel Laskiewicz, affectionately known as DL replacing Tommy Vext as vocalist. The reasons have been publicly detailed and are not as interesting as the band’s upcoming record Dear Monsters coming out on October 29, 2021.
Interestingly, DL is most well-known for his years with The Acacia Strain, on guitar/programming from 2001–2013 and rhythm guitar from 2007–2013. This information is prolific as it helps you make sense of Bad Wolves’ new frontman decision, and if it doesn’t, you’ll realise why soon, as he shares the bands’ similarities in an interview with us.
It’s been a decent few years since DL had his heavy hat on with The Acacia Strain, but he hasn’t been twiddling his thumbs since then. “It’s good to be back in the fold with a band and live music because I never really stopped doing music. I’ve been doing production behind the scenes,”
The guitarist-come-singer shares his focus in recent years has simply been producing bands. “I’ve worked with All That Remains, I did some co-writing with Unearth, For The Fallen Dreams and a bunch more.”
Being a producer for all these bands in the heavy music world, is partly how DL and Bad Wolves lead guitarist Doc Coyle got to know each other. However, producing wasn’t the only glue for DL’s relationships – “it kept my foot in the door with guys that I’ve known from touring too. That’s how Doc and I were connected between me leaving The Acacia Strain and then joining Bad Wolves.”
DL is incredibly stoked to have been chosen by his bandmates as the new lead singer, and shares that the selection process was an extensive one. “They made sure to exhaust all their options,” of different singers.
“They tried everybody out and there’s so much talent out there. It got really and it came down to the wire. Every day I’m grateful because I had some really tight competition, there were some really great singers that could have easily been picked.”
And there’s so much talent out there. I mean, that some of the submissions that they got, you know, it was really close and it came down to the wire. So yeah, I think, you know, every day I’m grateful, zero expectations and it was just it was just kind of cool how it just worked out organically because you know, like I said they had some really really tight competition in there and there was some really great singers that could have done this easily besides me.
The vocalist/producer assures fans that there won’t be any surprises with Dear Monsters, at least not bad ones. “It’s what you would expect from a Bad Wolves album. It’s still very downtuned, very heavy, but we kind of built upon the melodic aspect of the band, especially with my kind of new vocal style coming in.”
If you’ve heard Bad Wolves leading single ‘Lifeline’ you’ll understand what the musician is saying with humility. Who would have ever expected an ex-The Acacia Strain band member to own such incredible clean vocal abilities – an ideal combination for the band.
Contrasting differences to his own style and that of Vext’s, DL says “I always say that we kind of have similar ranges but at the same time stylistically, we’re pretty different. There’s things on this record that they’ve never been able to really try before and we were able to kind of spread our wings a little bit on this album and try some new stuff.”
The heavy music aficionado clarifies that the whole band are very respectful of their back catalogue to date. “On the previous work, we’re definitely very conscious of moving forward to just kind of maintain the foundation that Bad Wolves has built.”
However, the new era of Bad Wolves has heightened the opportunity for experimentation. “We were able to touch upon things that I think we’ve all kind of wanted to do,” and he says that they certainly did, “with songs like Springfield Summer, which is kind of edge on the edge of a pop song.” Looking back at the band’s earlier music, it’s clear that they can toe the line of radio-friendly and vere into heavy metal territory.
On whether DL would ever explore some of the significantly heavier The Acacia Strain elements with Bad Wolves, he laughs teasing “never say never, but I think that they’re definitely two different beasts,” which is amusingly clear. However, what you may not have realised is that the two bands are more similar than you think.
“I think that the most notable similarity between the two bands is the fact that The Acacia Strain and Bad Wolves are [both] almost the same kind of tune, in the G register,” alluding to the down-tuned tones the band have gone with both before and after DL’s time. “There’s, also some eight string songs, so, you know, they kind of live in that same city, but as far as, you know, being as heavy as The Acacia Strain, I feel like there are even parts where we may even be heavier than The Acacia Strain.” Huge call to make, but if you listen attentively to the new record when it arrives, you might hear it too.
On whether it’ll feel different playing live shows with Bad Wolves compared to playing with The Acacia Strain, DL jokes that it’ll be even better. “The most different thing for me is just gonna be the fact that I don’t have a guitar around my neck, I’ll have free hands to give a lot of high fives live and everything, so it’s gonna be a good time.”
Interview by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)
Pre-Order Dear Monsters here
Bad Wolves – Dear Monsters tracklisting
1. Sacred Kiss
2. Never Be The Same
7. On The Case
8. If Tomorrow Never Comes
9. Springfield Summer
10. House Of Cards
12. In The Middle
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